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There is indeed in the Atlantic world hardly as sign as yet of that direct espionage upon opinion that obliterates the mental life of an intelligent Italian, German or Russian to-day almost completely?

*bold mine

The New World Order by H.G. Wells

I have two variants:

  1. opinion that obliterates
  2. espionage that obliterates

Which one is true and why?

1 Answer 1

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"that direct espionage" targets "opinion" (probably, public opinion or popular sentiment) making it difficult for different, "bold, unorthodox views" to be heard and read.

Everywhere now it is difficult to get adequate, far-reaching publicity for outspoken discussion of the way the world is going, and the political, economic and social forces that carry us along. This is not so much due to deliberate suppression as to the general disorder into which human affairs are dissolving. There is indeed in the Atlantic world hardly a sign as yet of that direct espionage upon opinion that obliterates the mental life of the intelligent Italian or German or Russian to-day almost completely; one may still think what one likes, say what one likes and write what one likes, but nevertheless there is already an increasing difficulty in getting bold, unorthodox views heard and read.

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